Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement (BSM) highlighted the issues and solutions surrounding LNG as a marine fuel at its industry forum, LNG as a Marine Fuel: Addressing the Challenges. Attended by close to 100 delegates from the ship owning, equipment manufacturing, brokering and media segments of the industry, the session was held in conjunction with London International Shipping Week 2015, which opened this Monday.
Chaired by Chris Clucas, Corporate Expert – Liquefied Gas for BSM and the President of the Society for Gas as a Marine Fuel (SGMF), the event explored the commercial and environmental advantages of using LNG as a fuel, challenges associated with increasing adoption and implications for the future.
Joining the session for a holistic industry insight were prominent industry personnel Mark Bell, General Manager for Society for Gas as a Marine Fuel (SGMF); Mats Fagerberg, Partner at Affinity Shipping LLP; John Grant, General Manager for Wartsila UK Ltd and John Eltringham, Project Director at BSM.
Addressing bunker supply challenges, John Eltringham gave an overview of the work undertaken in partnership with BMT Triton and Babcock LGE to develop an innovative Gas Supply Vessel that will support LNG fuelled ships, and delivery of gas to small onshore facilities and large off-pipe consumers.
The panel, moderated by Karen Thomas from LNG World Shipping, looked at first mover advantage, economies of scale and the impact of regulation and oil prices on the commercial viability of using LNG as a marine fuel.
When asked to comment on when adoption would accelerate, the panellists were united in their view that with most sectors having a gas fuelled vessel design in the wings, a step towards change in the market was inevitable in the near future.
Following the panel session, delegates used the discussion session to comment and raise questions on the importance of legislation and corresponding economic factors that were stressed during the earlier the presentations. The floor was vociferous in its agreement on the importance of maintaining the current safety record in the LNG sector and shared thoughts and recommendations on improved and new training approaches to ensure that the competence of talent in the gas sector was further elevated.
Describing the level of interaction during the 2-hour session, Captain Norbert Aschmann, Chief Executive Officer of BSM who was in attendance said, “The strong participation and quality debate we experienced demonstrates that there is active engagement on this topic, despite the relatively slow uptake of LNG as a fuel over recent years.”